Saturday, 27 June 2015

Pars, Disneyland & Where to Visit

Disneyland & the most expensive meal of our lives on the Champs Elysees 
Paris is just beautiful to me. Full of culture, amazing patisserie's with strong coffee and sophisticated people milling around this busy city of extremes. Yes Paris can be a cliché for some but I love it. Living in London it's never been easier to travel to Paris via Eurostar in a matter of hours, all in a comfortable seat and plenty of snacks!

Adam surprised me with a trip for my birthday (yes this post has been a long time birthday was at the end of Feb!), and I couldn't have been more excited. I LOVE romance, the idea of it, the cheesy chick flicks, imagining romantic strolls down the Champs Elysées. And yes, I may have dropped hints for the past 3 years that we've been together that I really wanted to have a romantic break away in gay Paris, and it was just as special as I expected!
This is also a thank you to Adam. For putting up with my need to have a clean and tidy flat - all.the.time, my eBay addiction, my love of smelly candles and all things girly, my lack of love for his favourite horror movies, and my moaning that he never buys me flowers. Well don't I just sound like a treat! So for all my flaws...thanks for putting up with me.

Laduree Macarons, bites of heaven
Laduree Cake
Not content with a romantic Paris trip, Adam also booked tickets to Disneyland. "WHAT THE ACTUAL EFF" I think was my response. I've never been to Disneyland, heck, I didn't go abroad until I was 16 with my friend and her family so Disneyland never featured in my childhood (1st world problems, right?). However, my love of Disney has never faltered and even though I'm at an age where it's probably not acceptable to have a Disney Princess lunch box for work, I was set to burst at the though of a whole host of Disney magic thrust into my birthday face. 

I won't bore you with a step by step of our weekend away, but I will say it was incredible. We ate so much food, drank gorgeous champagne and laughed a lot.

 Instead, I've put together a must do list for the first timer's or not-been-there-for-a-whilers amongst you. It's touristy so for any seasoned Paris travellers I'd love to know where to visit next time I go! One tip though - if you don't speak French at least learn a few basic phrases, everyone will appreciate that you tried and if like me, they'll know you're not fluent and speak back to you in English (yep, my French was obviously that good...cheers A in French GCSE you helped me no end!)

Where to visit on a quick break

1. Laduree  or Pierre Herme for delicious macarons - I love macarons and I've tried a lot, but these two (situated in the heart of Paris), are such a gorgeous treat. Ladauree do more than just deserts here, you can also have a breakfast, lunch or dinner and a cheeky drink or two if you're feeling flush. One warning? Be prepared to queue! 
2. Disneyland Paris -Why should kids have all the fun?! A 40 min metro ride from the centre of Paris means you're not too far for a day visit! Get there early and plan your visit, we made the mistake of just milling around and the queues build up really quickly so pick your fave rides and go to them first. I'd also say take snacks or lunch if you're not a huge fan of fast food...there's little else to chose from!
3. Walking Tour or Bus Tour - We had a day of touristy fun walking from the Eiffel tower, down to the Louvre, all the way down the Champs Elysees to the Arc de Triomphe. It took hours but we saw so much of the city that we'd have passed by going on public transport. City buses are also brilliant for this as you can hop on and off all around the city throughout the day.
4. Gallerie Lafayette - A huge department store. But not just any department store. It's stunning and worth going for the awe factor and a quick bite to eat if you're not interested in shopping.
5. Try our new foods! I found a great blog post over on SFP which rounds up some gems if you love your food.

Au revoir from me and my pal Mickey for now! 

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

June Hero- Coconut Oil

OK, you're probably thinking this is a bit of an odd product of the month but seriously, coconut oil is my new thing. I know coconut oil isn't really new and I've been reading recipes for ages that use coconut oil as a healthy cooking oil, BUT I didn't know it had multiple uses. I've picked it as my product of the month because it's a wonder product for your teeth! Why? Oil Pulling. Yep sounds odd but wait...

What do you do?

Buy any 100% raw & organic coconut oil 
Grab a teaspoon
Spoon a portion into your moth and swill around for 15-20mins
Spit out


I've read a few blog posts on Oil Pulling and the best one I've found is Fashion Lush (because her posts are just plain funny)  

I've only been oil pulling for the odd day here and there however I'm wanting to get into more of a routine so I can really see results however before I get into the main reasons why you should oil pull I'll tell you my findings. 

1. It seems a bit weird at first putting this oil into your moth but trust me after 10 seconds you can tastes ok and once it's dissolved into the oil it's easily swishable around your mouth.
2. The first time you do it you might thing 20 mins is a lot and you may get jaw ache etc but you'll quickly get used to it so persevere.
3. Do something to keep you busy in the 20 mins. Watch TV, read, clean the kitchen (you get the drift).
4. Don't overfill your mouth! You don't want to accidental swallow any of the nasties that the oil is picking up in your mouth so I use a loaded teaspoon.
5. Once you've finished whatever you do DON'T spit it out down your sink. This is oil that will harden and stick to your pipes and could cause all sorts of issues so I spit out into a cheap food bag and bin it but you could also spit out into a cup and then pop into the bin. 
6. Once I've finished I usually swish well with water or salt water if you're being really pro just to make sure all of the nasties are out of there. 

So like I said, I've not been oil pulling for long enough to notice the amazing things I've read about however I have noticed: my teeth look a little brighter, a dry patch I had on my scalp for months has started to clear up - coincidence - I don't think so! From this week I'm going to do this daily or at least every other day in the morning or last thing at night and I'll come back to you with my findings! 

From the magic of other brilliant blogs and Google, the benefits of Oil Pulling:

* Healthier gums/ teeth/ mouth.
 * Helps to clear up sinus issues.
 * If you've got a a bad throat, oil pulling will help clear the bacteria quickly.
 * Helps with skin issues
* Can help cure a hangover (say what?!)
* Overall detoxification.

Have you tried Oil Pulling or will you be giving this a go? Let me know how you've got on! 

Friday, 19 June 2015

Weekly Meal Ideas & Recipe #1

Pre-planning your meals takes so much of the stress out of deciding what to have for dinner each evening. It also saves so much waste and money because since I started pre-planning meals, I find I don't nip into the local shops to pick things up (and buy loads of things I don't need...hello chocolate éclairs!).

Honestly, give it a go and see how you find it. Of course you're not restricted and things crop up so you may have to adjust, but knowing you have all of the ingredients in is so easy.

You'll see my meals for the week below along with a really simply tasty Goats Cheese & Mushroom Frittata which is perfect for a quick summer dinner with minimal effort and maximum taste!


Graze breakfasts: A mix of porridge, granola, and light cereals all with unsweetened almond milk (Use my code SALLYE9FE to get your first box of tasty and inspired snacks for free!)
Avocado on toast: Brown toast or Soda Bread, 1 avocado with tomatoes and a small topping of chilli sauce

Monday: Goats cheese, asparagus & red onion frittata with spinach salad
Tuesday: Jacket potato with tuna sweetcorn & spinach salad  
Wednesday: Out for dinner with a friend (Pizza Express Pollo Verdure salad & dough sticks)
Thursday: Cod in mustard & white wine sauce with mashed potato & asparagus
Friday:  Butternut squash & sage risotto (Adam is having sausage & mash)
Saturday: Tandoori chicken with chapati, boiled rice & salad (plus a tonne of poppadoms!) 
Sunday: M&S dine in for two 

For some reason I never make frittata. Egg based meals never fill me with food joy however when I actually eat them...they're delicious and filling!  So, I thought I'd give this goats cheese, spinach and mushroom frittata a go in my new skillet pan!

1tbsp olive oil
6-7 mushrooms (whichever you fancy)
2 garlic cloves finely chopped
150g spinach
6 beaten eggs
salt & pepper
50g goats cheese
handful cheddar cheese

What to do:

Preheat the grill to a medium heat

Heat oil in a pan and add the mushrooms and fry them, adding garlic when they're almost brown

Add the spinach and stir until wilted

Beat the eggs, mix in the cheddar cheese then pour over the beaten eggs. Season with salt & pepper and sprinkle over the crumbled goats cheese

Leave on a low heat to cook through for roughly 5 mins.

Place the pan under the grill until it starts to turn golden.

Cut into wedges and serve with a fresh salad (I dressed mine in lemon juice)

Hope you enjoy!

Sunday, 14 June 2015

H&M Homeware

4. Wooden Tray £9.99  5. 3-pack glasses £3.99  6. Square frame £7.99
7. Stripe Cushion Cover  £3.99  8. Copper basket £7.99  9. Glass plate £3 (sale)  10. Pineapple jar £7.99  11. Copper Mirror £12.99  12. Round Metal Tray £14.99
Main image - Tray £12.99 (sold out) & basket £7.99

I am obsessed with browsing home-ware online. Inspiration comes from all over but I love Sheer Luxe, Pinterest and Polyvore for easy quick recommendations. I'm also signed up to H&M, Next & Zara home so can't help browsing all of the new trends via their well timed pay day emails! French Connection have also branched out into home styling and I love it. A little on the pricey side but depends on your budget. 

H&M have really upped their game this year and their home-ware is such an affordable way of updating your home and adding little touches to tired areas of your space. I'm loving the copper theme around practically everywhere at the moment,and it works with so many colours. I've picked my favourites for you above and honestly...few more on the list be making their way to me in the post! Who doesn't need a gold pineapple in their house. Exactly.

Happy Shopping! 

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Recent Budget Beauty Buys

 I can't believe we're pretty much half way through the year and already found myself saying the words that everyone groans at 'it's halfway to Christmas!'. Yep. I'm that sad.

Anyway with summer comes more evening fun as the sunshine says 'go on, have that extra G&T' and you remember that sunscreen is actually a thing we occasionally need in the UK. 

I love seeing the brighter bolder products in the shops come summer, or maybe I just gravitate towards them as they look so blooming great! These few gems caught my eye recently and I think they're all pretty decent staples, with more than decent prices to go with! 

I actually saw this on Instagram (go check our Becca Rose - her vlogs are great and she has a pug, nuff said). It's a pretty decent rival to my fave Urban Decay palette and the colours can take you from day to night. It's 13 looks in one palette and shows you which colours to apply where and for what occasions on the back in-case you need a few tips. The colours are a great pigmentation and this will be a daily staple for me once by Naked Palette runs out! 

Topshop have relaunched their beauty range to celebrate their 5th birthday so this is from the older range (I've been hoarding it!). It's not as bright on the skin as it looks and I think their new Head Over Heels blush is a close match. There's a slight shimmer to it, just enough to look glowing and not glittery! 

This little gel varnish was in my June Glossybox and it's such a bright sunny pink! The colour goes on easily and give a brilliant shine! I always do a base and top coat and you'll find this will last days before chipping. Perfect for brightening up your look this summer and at £1.60 you can afford to experiment a little. 

This is the same brand as the nail varnish however I purchased this before I even received my glossy box. I popped into cheap and cheerful Wilko for hay fever tablets and of course had to take a quick look at the beauty stand. The Essence lipsticks are really great hues and this colour is a really brilliant every day colour. I wear it with my Maybelline colour sensational lip pencil in Sweet Pink which is a great match and makes the colour last even longer. 

Sorry about the photo - I wasn't going to feature this repurchase but it's is a real staple for me so thought I'd add it in! I don't often leave the house without liquid liner on as I feel it just gives me a finished feel (and makes my eyes look not so mole like of a morning!). I've tried so many different brands including Mac and I just don't like the thick nibs as I can't control it and it just ends up a complete mess. Now Rimmel do two liquid liners, so if like me, you want a find fine nib you can build on, pick the Glam eyes not the Exaggerate (been there, done that!). Having said that if you love Mac liner the Rimmel Exaggerate is a great dupe! 

I'm always on the look out for great dupes or bargains so let me know if you've got any staple bargain beauty buys!